A 12-inch snake shocked guests at a London hotel last week after it was found curled up in a suitcase.
A couple were unpacking in their room at The Cumberland Hotel, Westminster, on Saturday 4 February after they had just arrived back from a trip to Kuwait when they came across the exotic snake.
It is believed the reptile, now identified as an albino hognose snake, had probably crawled into their luggage unseen in Kuwait.
The shocked couple immediately fled the room of the four-star hotel and waited outside for the RSPCA to arrive.
Jill Sanders, animal collections officer, who was called to the rescue, said: “I think this couple nearly jumped out of their skin when they started to unpack their luggage after their seven-hour flight and found this uninvited stowaway.
“The long, red-and- yellow snake was just sitting there on top of their towels. They said they were so shocked they ran straight out of the room, and wouldn’t go back in until I got there.”
“Luckily I found the reptile inside a pillowcase, where it had escaped to, and it was quite easy for me to collect.”
The hognose snake is not native to Kuwait and was most likely a pet that had escaped. It is unlikely the hognose could cause serious injury to a human, although they do have a mild venom which could be toxic to their small prey such as frogs and toads.
The snake has been sent to South Essex Wildlife Hospital and it is hoped it can be rehomed.